How about “My husband and I always apologize and forgive forgive one another after we fight?? Now that is something to be proud of.
Conflict was never meant to be avoided. In fact, it’s impossible to avoid. Conflict is going to happen. The only question is whether it will be healthy of unhealthy.
There are many things that we could say about the differences between healthy and unhealthy conflict, but to keep it simple: Healthy conflict is looking out for the interest of both parties. Unhealthy conflict is looking out solely for the interest of one party, whether it be yourself, or the other person. That’s right, it is possible to be “too selfless” when it comes to conflict. If you are only looking out for the interest of the other person, then I would challenge you by saying that you are not looking out for the interests of the relationship, because a relationship takes two people. If one person is completely neglected, then that relationship with never thrive. Therefore, “conflict avoidance” is really just another form of unhealthy conflict.
Which brings us to a another difference between healthy and unhealthy conflict. The purpose of unhealthy conflict is to win. The purpose of healthy conflict is for both parties to get better. In other words, unhealthy conflict is people fighting against each other, healthy conflict is people fighting against the problem. Healthy conflict, whether it’s in a marriage or a creative team, is the precursor to growth and trust.
If I know I can express myself, even when it might make you angry, and I know that you will accept my apology and love me just the same afterwards, imagine what that does to my trust level.
If we unite forces to fight against the problem, we have a much better chance for growth than if we sit there taking jabs at each other. A house divided cannot stand, remember?
The last difference, and the one we hinted to at the beginning of this post: Healthy conflict ends in restoration. Unhealthy conflict ends in isolation. If you’ve “never had a fight” in your marriage, that doesn’t mean that you’ve never had anything to fight about. That just means that you’re alone with your frustrations and annoyances, with no way to cure them. Healthy conflict ends with both parties having shared their thoughts and opinions, and still choosing the relationship over the problem. Healthy conflict ends with humility, grace, and love.
P.S. One final thought: Unhealthy conflict is based on talking. Healthy conflict is based on listening. **mic drop**